WordPress is by far an away the most popular of Blogging Platforms and come to think of it Content Management Systems (CMS) overall. Say "wordpress" to any website owner and they will usually turn around saying oh that's for blogging - this means for the most part as an unscientific metric that wordpress is quite popular and well known. Indeed it has almost 13 million downloads to its name. But why do people use wordpress?
Well there are many reasons people use wordpress. Many like the idea of a powerful platform that is updated, active and easy to use - and you can host it on your own server. So it is safe, secure and user friendly.
So what are the main benefits of using Wordpress?
As a website designer I tend to use Wordpress a fair amount as a CMS for my clients. It requires no training, which is awesome - all someone needs is to know how to use a word processor and they are in. Another awesome thing is that Wordpress is Open Source and Free. Plus as I've already mentioned it is updated on a regular basis by a huge team, so we know it is safe. The websites that can be produced using Wordpress are not just blogs (even though Wordpress is well known for that ability), it can produce high quality and SEO friendly websites.
Wordpress is a template based system, this means your can download and install a "theme" no coder required, which makes Wordpress a fairly cheap option for small businesses. If you do have a developer to hand Wordpress can be highly flexible, indeed it can do almost anything you ask of it if you know how. Also, because you are coding for Wordpres you know that even when the system is updated your theme will still work - unless it was about 2 years ago and then some things may break. Another great advantage is that because it is just a template, it can easily be passed from one developer to another without too much fuss.
Are there any downsides?
Yes, as always you are in the hands of the developers of the system. It is not 100% safe, nothing ever is. But with such a large team developing Wordpress you can be pretty sure you are safe as can be. Wordpress can deal with huge amounts of data, but if you have high traffic and huge amounts of data it can bog your server down ... it scales to some extent but as with most systems will start to struggle eventually.
Wordpress is a powerful and trusted blogging platform and CMS. Without it many websites would not exist today. It is a the perfect solution for small businesses looking for a website. The advantages of the system outweigh the problems that may occur, Wordpress feels like a friend who has earned my trust over the years. If you haven't tried it go to wordpress.com and sign up for a free account and start playing around.